Industrial Symbiosis for the Circular Economy Implementation in the Raw Materials Sector—The Polish Case

  • Joanna Kulczycka
  • Ryszard Uberman
  • Ewa DziobekEmail author
Part of the Strategies for Sustainability book series (STSU)


Raw materials used across the entire supply chain play a crucial role in the global economy. However, different types of mining and processing waste are generated in the production process. Waste from the extractive industry is one of the largest waste streams in Poland as well as in the EU (29% of total waste). With the development of new technology most of these wastes can be a potential source of new materials, often critical ones, or can serve as a substitute for building or construction materials. Moreover, by-products occur in many geological deposits, which can then be separated, usually with the consumption of a significant amount of energy, at various stages in the production processes of the main raw materials. This study aims to develop a proposal for the prioritisation of the management of the different types of waste and by-products generated based on the MoSCoW method during the implementation of the concept of industrial symbiosis. The analysis takes economic, financial and environmental (Life Cycle Assessment) conditions into consideration, and there is a literature review to assess the legal incentives for and barriers to the development of a strategy for a circular economy for the mining industry. A case study is presented showing how industrial symbiosis can minimise waste flow in the brown coal industry in Poland.


Industrial symbiosis Circular economy Raw materials sector Mining waste Brown coal LCA 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joanna Kulczycka
    • 1
  • Ryszard Uberman
    • 2
  • Ewa Dziobek
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.AGH University of Science and TechnologyCracowPoland
  2. 2.The Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of SciencesCracowPoland

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